Nottingham Forest were far from convincing as they got their first win of the season against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
The Reds were bailed out by a last-minute winner via a deflected Joe Lolley shot, but three points are three points and Chris Hughton now has a platform to build upon.
Despite the East Midlands outfit not being at their very best against the Lancastrians there were a few impressive performances to rave about, and one man who was simply fantastic was Harry Arter.
The Irishman may have come off due to an injury after 49 minutes, but he was arguably the best player on the pitch for that period.
The former Bournemouth man was everywhere on Saturday, he made four tackles, a higher tally than any other player despite playing just 49 minutes, while two interceptions and one blocked shot made sure that Forest weren’t conceding a goal while he was on the pitch.
Going forward he didn’t do all that much, completing just one dribble, but he added some much-needed steel into a midfield that has been lacking in the opening weeks of the season.
Samba Sow was the man Forest looked towards for that type of performance last season as he averaged 3.4 tackles per game alongside 1.4 interceptions, but with the Malian consistently struggling with injury, Forest needed a replacement, and they look to have found that in Arter.
This is exactly what Forest expected from Arter when he joined this summer, Eddie Howe’s comments on him back in 2018 are certainly worth looking back on after this incredible midfield display.
“He’s a fighter, a winner and someone with incredible spirit and determination to go again,” Howe said.
That’s exactly the profile of player Forest need if they are to get into the playoff picture this season, and everyone at the City Ground has to pray that his injury isn’t too bad as he should now be the first name on Hughton’s teamsheet going forward.